11 March 2019

The Bar Method Playbook II — First Impressions: Going for a drink or all in?

The Bar Method: A Playbook Series to attract, hire and retain talent in scaleups. In this Playbook Series we will cut a typical night at the bar into four different categories. From walking inside the bar up to waking up the next morning. Our goal: making sure that your scaleup’s hiring process is one that aims for the moon.

In this second Playbook we’ll discuss candidate evaluation (how to evaluate candidate application and how does our first impression influence this process)— compared to hanging in a bar and making that first eye contact.



That moment you make eye contact.

Let’s discuss the rollercoaster of thoughts going through your mind at that point.

That rollercoaster of thoughts is the process of creating a first impression. These are the two things you should know about first impressions:

– After seeing someone’s face you form a first impression within one-tenth of a second;
– Because of the fact that our brain hasn’t got enough time to accurately analyze a person, we use our reference frame and stereotyping to ‘label’ a person.

So first impressions happen insanely fast and aren’t always fair due to our frame of reference. Alright, that’s no rocket science. But let’s be really glad that we even have a frame of reference, because it enables us to make a 10,000 (micro)decisions a day. Having no bias at all would mean having no frame of reference, and good luck then with the 10,000 decisions ahead of you today. I think I will choose for having some bias.

We should just find a way to prevent our frame of reference from fooling us.

Candidate Evaluation

My frame of reference can quite fool me for instance when I’m at a bar and I see a guy passing me. The things my brain bases a first impression on are clothes and facial expression, but maybe for you this first impression is influenced by for instance skin colour, estimated age, etc.. At last we know one thing for sure: it’s all based on looks and appearance.

That’s also how it works with reading applications. When recruiters read a candidate’s resume for instance, they can’t keep themselves from focusing on demographics and pictures first before focusing on what really matters: does this person fit the job and the company.

Curious to learn more about how you can deal with bias and first impressions while evaluating applications, compared to a night at te bar?

Download the Playbook here and just let me know whether you liked it!


Cheers, Charlotte